France were crowned as the new World Cup champions on Sunday after they secured a convincing 4-2 win over Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The victory ensured Les Bleus of their second World Cup title in their history whilst Didier Deschamps became only the third man to win the global crown as a player and a manager.
Three things we learned:
Ivan Perisic puts on another show: Perisic may have not won the World Cup for Croatia but he has certainly left a mark which would be remembered by their country’s faithful for many years to come. After providing a goal and an assist during the semi-final against England, the attacker was once more on target in the final where he netted a stunning left-footed equaliser to level the scores at 1-1. He was later at fault for conceding a penalty via the VAR which gave the Les Bleus the advantage but overall, he should leave the Russia with his head held high after helping Croatia surpass their early expectations. Perisic may now perhaps attract interest from some of Europe’s elite, though Inter Milan may not fancy his sale.
Paul Pogba emerges from the blue: Barring his contribution to the own-goal versus Australia, Pogba had been relatively subdued during the tournament until the final. The Frenchman did manage to make his tireless runs which contributed towards his team’s goals but overall, he could not make a genuine in terms of goal or an assist. However, in the final, Pogba had a better individual performance with N’Golo Kante having an odd-day and the 25-year-old was dominant against the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric in the centre of the park. Moreover, he was a threat whenever on the attack and managed to score Les Bleus’ third goal which offered them some leeway during the second period.
Kylian Mbappe – A future Ballon d’Or contender: The former AS Monaco teenager has made huge strides over the past 24 months and he recently became the youngest holder of the 2018 World Cup. The Frenchman contributed four goals during the course of the tournament with most-defining performance coming against Argentina where he single-handedly changed the complexion of the game. During the round of 16 clash, Mbappe contributed two goals in addition to winning the penalty for the opener in a 4-3 victory and similar performances in the future should truly put him in the reckoning for the Ballon d’Or. There has been plenty of talk of Neymar breaking the dominance of Messi and Ronaldo for the accolade but Mbappe may yet be on the one to break this streak.
Image – Getty